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Dad Sues School Over Kids' Class Sizes: Should You?

The Short of It

A dad in Boca Raton, Florida, was angry that his son's elementary school was flouting a state mandate to keep class sizes under 18 kids per teacher. (His son has 21 in his kindergarten class!) And so he's suing the school for violating the class-size statute, in the hopes of getting his son a smaller class.

The Lowdown

Studies show that class sizes matter, especially at younger ages. Class sizes under 18 for kids from K to 3 lead to significant strides in improvement each year, and long-lasting results like higher graduation rates. And that's what's been behind the laws several states have put in place to try to keep class sizes small. But as education budgets get cut, many school districts have tried to work around the laws, by creatively interpreting the rules—for instance, using the average class size in a district, rather than having every classroom meet the guidelines.

That's how Paul Kunz's school district, Addison Mizner Elementary, has skirted the law. And that's why Kunz opted to become one of the first parents in Florida to take a school district to court to fight the class size.

The Upshot

The second I read the article, I Googled my state's laws on this, as I haven't exactly been thrilled with my daughters' class sizes. (My 3rd grader is in a class of 23, and my 6th grader has 26 in her class.) Unfortunately, my state doesn't seem to have any specific guidelines, other than no more than 25 kids in a class in kindergarten, so I'm out of luck. (You can check out your own state's rules here.)

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